Warton Crag Hill Fort


Another Heritage Open Day, and another guided walk organised by Morecambe Bay Partnership. I hadn’t booked this one, but having enjoyed the previous day’s outing on and around Piel Island, and having always been intrigued by the presence of a hill-fort practically on our doorstep on Warton Crag, decided that it would be a shame to miss this opportunity to find out more.

Apparently, until relatively recently, the ruins on the crag were obvious on even quite impressive, but….


….since most of the crag came into public ownership as nature reserves, it has become heavily wooded, and I’ve never been able to find any tangible sign of former occupation. The walk, and the talks which accompanied it, were fascinating. Finding out about this artist’s impression of what the Crag may have looked like…

Warton Crag Fort

…was worth the entrance fee alone. (Not that there was an entrance fee.) The painting is by John Hodgson, and I’d love to have a framed print of it on my wall.

A group from an archaeology evening class in Lancaster have been carrying out what has clearly been a pain-staking and very thorough survey of the remains on the hill. With the help of one member of the class we toured the area and looked for some of those ruins. 


The walls are extremely difficult to spot, even when you are almost standing on top of them. Apparently, they are a bit easier to find in the winter months when some of the undergrowth dies back. We saw some photos taken after an area of trees had been felled and one section of wall there was quite clear and easy to see.

On our trip, this…


…was about the clearest view we had. The wall was a bit more obvious than the photo suggests, but it would still have been very easy to walk past it without noticing.


Bright and sunny like the previous day, it was also reasonably warm, so that bees and butterflies were out and about.



Warton Crag Hill Fort

4 thoughts on “Warton Crag Hill Fort

  1. peter iles says:

    The walls are much clearer at the moment – go and have another look! The reconstruction drawing is very much an ‘artist’s impression’ as at present we don’t have an accurate plan to work from, but some volunteers are working their way around with cameras and GPS. I can’t remember the web address of their photo site, but it should be available via the MBP or H2H web pages. A LiDAR survey is to be undertaken soon, which will also help and hopefully it will all get a bit clearer in the next few months..

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      As ever Peter, your comment is much more interesting and informative than the original post!
      It occurred to me whilst I was posting these photos that now would be a good time to look again. And with the Christmas holidays almost upon us, I’ll soon have some time to do that.
      Louise and Susannah mentioned the LiDAR scan, so I should have worked that into my post, but I forgot what it was called! We also saw lots of the volunteers’ photos and if I can find them online I will add a link to this post.

  2. And there was me thinking it was just a rather splendid wooded limestone hill. From our walk up there was no indication of any kind of settlement, makes it all the more amazing that there was one

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Allegedly an ancient urn was found here, but because it was found a long time ago there’s no proper record of where it was found, or where it ended up. I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned it to you before. I always think of it when I’m up there and can see Ingleborough, which also has a hill fort.

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